I was so excited this morning when I was packing the items of the giveaway to send to Laura, the lucky winner, and as I was placing everything on my side table I realised I haven't yet shared with you that make-over! So here it goes...
|I really like the way they look now, but they weren't always like that...|
When we did the first part of our living room make-over (read about it here) these birch veneer colour bits of furniture looked even more out of place than they had done before, so I thought - why not trying to paint them? But we all know what a nightmare it can be to work on "fake wood surfaces". I did my homework before attempting anything.
After a visiting my local B&Q and asking for some advice, I got myself the following kit:
- Dulux Difficult Surface Primer (but any primer that can be applied to melamine - the stuff that Ikea furniture is usually made of - works)
- Dulux Wood Sheen Ebony colour
- Crown Quick Dry Satin on Pure Brilliant White (mid shine finish)
- Plasti-Kote Spray Satin Black
- Lots of poly sheets (as I didn't want any paint on my living room floor - I wish I had a garage to work from)
- A small tray and a very good brush (the secret to a good finish, sometimes even more than the paint you choose. Living and learning)
- Sandpaper in three different roughness (light, medium and hard)
I started with the table. I already had some masking tape at home that I used to cover all the details I didn't want to paint, like the screws. Only to later realise that I would be better off taking (or at least loosening) them out. Because the table looked like "real" untreated wood, I used the light sandpaper to distress the surface a bit, enough to be able to apply the satin paint on the legs straight away. I didn't want to waste the primer on it as it was a bit pricy and, if the stools worked fine, I had bigger plans for it.
I applied the first coat and left it to dry for about 6 hours (I am too anxious to leave it overnight). Second coat on, I moved to doing the top, that I wanted in black. The wood sheen is meant to work as a paint and a varnish - two months now since I've done it, I think I will apply a clear varnish, just to make it easier to clean. It might be just me, but since I painted I seem to notice dust on it much more than before and cloths tend to stick to the wood.
After one coat of black wood sheen it looked like a second coat wasn't needed at all, but I decided to do it just in case, for peace of mind. The wood sheen dried much quicker than the white paint, so I didn't have to wait as long to apply the second coat.
|I still don't know if the best way to spray paint something like those legs is with them lying flat or standing...|
I wasn't expecting the stools (have I mention they were a pair?) to take as long as the table. They ended up taking twice as much time though. I started by separating the top from the legs and then I used the black spray paint. I still don't know what is the best way to use it, if indoors or outdoors. I explain: Indoors the smell is almost unbearable and you need to protect the surroundings really well from the "paint dust" - it goes everywhere, I mean EVE-RY-WHERE!!!
Outdoors, the slightest wind will drive you crazy. It just makes it impossible to hit your target, because you need to keep the bottle at an arm's distance from the surface to be painted. I did one set of legs outside and one inside, it worked in the end, but after a lot of trial and error.
The other problem I found with the spray paint is that it runs... Or at least on a tricky surface like the one I had. To cover every corner of the legs, some areas ended up receiving more paint than they needed and I had to be careful not to let those runny bits clog and dry that way.
I thought the seats would be easy after that, but I was wrong. Even with the hard sandpaper it's difficult to distress the melamine and you need to be extra careful not to overdo the edges. Once you've sanded and wiped your surface, it's time to apply the primer. I am happy with the one I got, it adhered to the wood really well. However, it takes time to dry, so I had to leave it overnight. Then I applied two coats of the satin white paint. I wasn't counting on balancing the seats as you leave them to dry being a problem, but it's definitely something you need to put some thought on before painting the surfaces, definitely not after.
I guess that's pretty much it... I am sorry for not having all the answers and clever solutions for this "how to", but I will have a go again at some furniture make-over and I hope to learn more through other experiences. And I am definitely sharing them here when it happens =)